Friday, September 11, 2009

Dense Fog and Starbucks

I had seen such good pictures of sunsets on various blogs recently. I thought that sometime this Labor Day weekend I would get up a little earlier and try to get some pictures of a sunrise. I had even scoped out a place a few miles outside of town that I thought might lead to a good picture or two.
Saturday morning, I was lazy and slept in.
Sunday, I was ready to go, but awoke to find that a dense fog had set in overnight. Wasn't expecting that. But I decided that maybe some fog pictures could be interesting as well, so off I went into the early morning.
Early on a Sunday morning there is almost no traffic, but in certain places the visibility was less than 100 yards. Streets were dry, but it was obvious that it wasn't real safe to ride very fast or very far. I decided not to ride out to the location I had picked to take the proposed sunrise pictures. There was little chance for a sunrise picture.
I had not gone a mile when my visor got wet and fogged up. I tried various things with my new helmet to help with the fogging problem. First I just kept the visor up. Then my eyeglasses got wet. I had a handkerchief with me and used it to wipe off my eyeglasses and visor, stopping every mile or so to do a wipe. Eventually I kept the visor open on the helmet at the first stop so that it was only barely open in front. That helped greatly with the fogging issues but didn't, of course, keep the visor from getting wet.
I have just ordered a finger wiper from Aerostich, but as Murphy's Laws always work out, it hadn't arrived yet. Oh well, you just do the best you can with the equipment you have. Note to self; get some of that anti-fog spray as well.
I decided that a long ride wasn't in the future this morning and decided to loop around and eventually end up at Starbucks where I knew my daughter was working this morning.
On the way to Starbucks, I passed through a tunnel that actually goes under an airplane runway at the Hawker Beechcraft airplane plant. I always thought it would be fun to take a picture under here, so here it is.
As I left the tunnel I felt obligated to beep my horn a couple of times. Isn't that a requirement for going through a tunnel?
I also made a small detour through a nice sleepy neighborhood where I thought I could get a picture or two.
There were some joggers here and I was able to catch one of them for a picture.
It was at this point that the batteries in my Canon gave out. So many times have I been someplace, encountered what I thought would make a good picture, and not had my good camera with me. Note to self; make sure you have some spare batteries with you as well!
When I eventually arrived at Starbucks I noticed a number of motorcycles in the parking lot. Very nice machines, all of them. I entered the store at the same time as one of the other riders and we laughed at each other about trying to be out in this weather. Stopping for coffee seemed to be the only sensible thing to do while we all waited for the fog to burn off, which was predicted by mid morning.
There were seven of us riders in there that morning. Two couples, two guys on sport bikes and me with my Taiwanese scooter. There were 2 other customers and 4 employees, therefore the riders outnumbered everybody else in the store. I didn't realize that this Starbucks was such a biker (rider) haven. I was the only one in what I would call full gear, but all had helmets and at least some protection.
Two of the guys riding with their wives, girlfriends, or whatever, had on some leather vests with a lot of sewn in patches on the back.
One large patch indicated membership in the Wichita Firefighters Motorcycle Club.
I chuckled at another patch that caught my eye. It merely said:
F*#k Off Enough Said
My daughter told me that his name was Clyde and a 'regular' customer. He indeed was a firefighter and a really nice guy. Apparently a lot of bikers go to this Starbucks on Sunday mornings and she has gotten to know some of them a bit. Some of them know she has a Vespa and they have discussed riding on various occasions.
My daughter recently turned in her 2 week notice at Starbucks. It seems that student teaching 5 days a week and then working at Starbucks on the weekends is getting to be a bit much for her. I don't blame her a bit. Everybody needs a day off now and then and she hasn't had one in over a month.
My only regret is that my chances for free or discounted Starbucks coffee is dwindling. This turned out to be one of those rides where I left the house with a definate purpose in mind, only to end up going in a completely different direction, a different purpose, and still having a great time!
Total miles: 8? Enjoyment level: High Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed


  1. Thats better. A reality check on how crappy fog is. Go on, tell us what you were wearing (aside from the Buck Rogers helmet lighting up some of the pictures).

  2. cpa3485/Jim:

    YIKES ! that dreaded FOG word. I also had a little on the way to work. I just hate the thought of Winter and cold temps. Fog pictures are on the same level as Sunrise/Sunset pictures. they have a mysterious feel to them. Don't pay attention to Mr Conchscooter. He is gloating in the fact that he lives in Paradise and loves to rub it in.
    Wise you are to sit it out and wait

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  3. Conch,
    That helmet is for storm troopers, not Buck Rogers, even if my last name is Rogers, which it is !!! And fog is crappy (see comment to Bobskoot)
    Thanks for stopping by and giving me shit!

  4. Bobskoot,
    We really don't get a lot of fog here, but that particular morning was a complete surprise.
    We had 9 inches of torrential rain two days later. Didn't ride to work that day.
    The fog was literally ridiculous that morning. I intended to make a turn at one intersection, and went straight instead because I couldn't tell where the hell I was until about a half mile later when I finally figured out I had missed the turn. It really wasn't safe and my wife thought I was really crazy for even venturing out. Turned out to be a lot of fun though.
    Let's hope the fall and winter aren't too severe in your location or mine. Conch will certainly have an advantage over both of us. Let him eat sh*%!! LOL
    Thanks for stopping by

  5. You Starbucks addicts will use any excuse to go there, won't you? Yes, I'm looking in the mirror as I write this!

  6. Jim, nice fog pics - I had the same issues that you experienced with the fog one day recently on my way to work. I did the same as you - stopped for coffee - it's the universal solution!

  7. Good posting with good pics!

    Fog can make life interesting, no matter where you ride. Fogged up visors make life too "interesting".

    I've tried a lot of anti-fogging stuff, nothing seems to work for long or well. The anti-fog shields seem to do best but scratch real easy and introduce secondary reflections at night which I don't like.

    But then again, regular fog is better than freezing fog....had that happen to me once, not fun.

    Too bad about the coffee discount going away soon, it's nice to have a refuge from bad weather....

  8. Dear CPA3485 (Jim):

    I used to love riding my Kawasaki in fog... Then I grew up, sort of. I just mounted PIAA HID "Cross Country" lights on my bike.For $7 extra, which I spent, I got a pair of fog lenses for them. I hope never to take them out of the box.

    Very interesting post today.

    How are you feeling these days?
    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  9. Irondad,
    As I frequently say, the only thing better than Starbucks coffee is FREE Starbucks coffee. My daughter's last day there was yesterday. Those FREE days are probably gone. (sadness)
    Thanks for stopping ny,

  10. Lance,
    The times I've ridden through fog before weren't bad, but this particular occasion was not particularly fun, until I got to Starbucks. Then it was a hoot!
    Take Care,

  11. Charlie6,
    I have heard good and bad about fog sprays. More than anything else, I am just still getting used to the new helmet and its performance. Just something else to get used to.
    Thanks for the compliments on the pics. It was easier to stop and take a pic or two than it was to ride on that day.
    Ride Safe,

  12. Toad,
    Glad you stopped by. I am thinking you ignored my comment on your blog about buying cats to help you get rid of your spider problems.
    I am feeling about 90% back now and have finally weaned myself off the ibuprofen and muscle relaxers that I have been consuming like candy since the accident. A post will be up later this week or first of next week regarding another local scooter club event.
    Thanks for your kind concerns,

  13. There's a spray of some kind that's used for this purpose by pilots for their plane windshields. Supposed to be better than the stuff we normally see because I guess it etches or does something bad to plastic shields? Its supposed to be like the pilot's version of RainX. We see some fog here in central MN but not like that! By the way, very cool pics in the tunnel!


  14. Harv,
    Thanks for the compliment on the pics, but it was a wierd morining and they didn't turn out like I wanted them to.
    Oh well, I'll just have to keep practicing.
    Thanks for stopping by,